Three remarkable young leaders at Walgreens were named among the 40 Under 40 Leaders in Minority Health by the National Minority Quality Forum (NMQF), honored in April, which is National Minority Health Month.
They work in different contexts—in pharmacy, in Walgreens corporate office and as part of the team leading U.S. Healthcare—but Briancca Marshall, Khadijah Khan and Sashi Moodley all operate on the belief that reducing health disparities for minorities is critical for the collective health of all communities.
Discover how their patient-centric approach to health equity helped them earn the well-deserved title as the NMQF strives to protect the most vulnerable by committing to advancing health equity.
Briancca Marshall, pharmacy manager
Marshall was born, raised and educated on the South Side of Chicago. She was promoted to pharmacy manager within five months of being hired by Walgreens, and since 2018, oversaw the expansion of her pharmacy team’s role to include COVID-19 vaccinations. She manages a biweekly vaccine clinic at her local church and proactively works with her alderman to set up flu and COVID-19 vaccine clinics in her neighborhood. When civil unrest erupted across the city in the summer of 2020, Marshall led efforts to rebuild not only her store—but relationships with patients and people she’s known her whole life.
Why she was nominated
“During Briancca’s time in pharmacy leadership, she’s worked to deepen her understanding of some of the challenges faced by the populations of people living on the city’s South Side. Very early in her tenure, Briancca faced a devastating challenge when her store was one of nearly 80 Walgreens locations that were damaged to the point of closure following the civil unrest that unfolded during the summer of 2020.
“Not only was she part of the team who went back to the store the day after the riots to join team members and neighbors in cleaning up debris, but she also helped maintain our connection to the community from a temporary mobile pharmacy that served patients for a year as the store was rebuilt.” -Cornetta Levi, healthcare supervisor, Walgreens
Growing up, Marshall was close with her father, who was living with chronic kidney disease. She would help him organize and manage his medications, which led to an interest in pursuing pharmacy as a career. Sadly, just three weeks after she earned her Doctor of Pharmacy degree from Howard University’s College of Pharmacy, her father passed away.
Rather than let this tragedy derail her career before it began, she held on to what she knew: that he was her biggest supporter and would want her to continue. So she completed and passed her licensure exam.
“Although my job as a pharmacist has been more demanding the past two years, I wouldn’t change any of it,” says Marshall. “To be considered a frontline worker is amazing. Being able to help so many people within my community during these times is something I believe is immeasurable.”
Khadijah Khan, manager, specialty health solutions
An advocate for health equity and wellness for all, Khan leads the specialty pharmacy strategy for clinical products and services for neurology and solid organ transplant. In her role, she has helped coordinate efforts between Walgreens and the Kaiser Family Foundation for National Free HIV Testing Day and internal efforts to end the HIV epidemic by 2030. She also encourages organ donor registration and develops strategies to raise awareness for the fact that more than 60% of people on the national organ transplant waiting list are of multicultural descent and in need of genetically similar donors.
Why she was nominated
“Khadijah has been passionate and dogged in her approach to build relationships with national advocacy partners. She always pushes our teams and our advocacy partners on making impact for those patients disproportionately impacted by their complex conditions. From addressing financial toxicity to creating culturally relevant patient education materials, Khadijah is always an advocate for our patients. Lastly, Khadijah has served as a positive role model for generations of future leaders within our company and being courageous about diversity & inclusion efforts with our executive leaders.” - Alexandra Broadus, senior director, specialty and health equity strategy
Khan’s career started as a pharmacy technician at a Walgreens near the neighborhood where she grew up in the suburbs of Chicago. The aspiration to work at Walgreens may have come from her mother, an immigrant from India and a store team member at Walgreens.
“Patients knew my schedule and would come in when they knew I was there, and I loved looking down the line of people waiting and knowing every patient’s name and what I could do to help them,” says Khan. “There were also times that were challenging, when some people were rude to me based on the hijab (headscarf) that I wear. I thought to myself, ‘This person may have had a bad experience from somebody who looked like me, and they’re projecting their feelings and frustrations onto me, but it’s my job to let them get to know me better so they can build trust with me and the many other women in healthcare who also wear a hijab.’”
One of Khan’s favorite parts of the job was to help customers find copay assistance. Her natural next step was to join the 340B team in the Walgreens corporate office, where she assisted in replenishing inventory into pharmacies for the 340B program, which provides low- to no-cost prescription drugs to qualifying patients. From that role, Khan has progressed into specialty pharmacy and clinical product management, where she can advocate for diverse patients on a national scale.
Sashi Moodley, chief clinical officer, U.S. Healthcare
An internal medicine physician, Dr. Moodley joined the U.S. Healthcare team in 2021 as chief clinical officer, tasked with designing the care model and clinical strategy for Walgreens expansion into healthcare. Since his start, he has launched an ambulatory care pharmacy program, accelerated clinical quality initiatives and overseen the growth of Walgreens Health Corners to over 100 locations, in which health advisors provide personalized solutions for managing healthcare conditions and closing care gaps.
Why he was nominated
“Dr. Moodley developed a strategy for us to provide patient-centered, coordinated care across WBA and then led the build-out of the U.S. Healthcare clinical team to support these important initiatives. He has built clinical programs that have driven an improvement in many patients’ quality of care, particularly in the more than 50% of Health Corners located in underserved communities and those with a high social vulnerability index.” – John Do, chief financial officer, U.S. Healthcare
Dr. Moodley grew up in Durban, South Africa, and witnessed the HIV epidemic spread throughout the country firsthand—especially those with poor access to care. It inspired him to pursue medicine, and eventually work to create personalized home-based and virtual care models for seniors and others with financial and social barriers to care.
When visiting a Health Corner location in Orange County in fall 2022, he met a couple who had been returning to the same Walgreens store for over 10 years. Even though they had moved from Los Angeles, they continued to drive across town to pick up their medications from this location. Why? Because they had developed a longstanding, trusted relationship with their pharmacy team.
In his mind, scaling Walgreens’ 86,000 healthcare service providers and the trust they’ve nurtured in their communities across nearly 9,000 stores is the next wave of ensuring everyone, equitably, is cared for.
“I feel honored to be part of this group that is focused on improving the health of communities that have historically been neglected,” says Dr. Moodley. “It's an important goal of mine to make the healthcare system easier to access and navigate and improve health equity across the country, and it’s even more meaningful to be alongside my colleagues who are equally as excited by this mission.”